The State Medical Benefits Office (SPME) is issuing a new maternity record book to expecting mothers insured under its schemes, enabling them to benefit from regular health check-ups.
The book includes the full range of updated information documents for women and couples, with detailed guidelines regarding maternity treatment procedures.
It aims to provide information on health monitoring during pregnancy, and on women’s rights, obligations and the assistance available, as well as to improve pregnancy monitoring and communication between the healthcare and social work professionals who will look after the mother until the birth.
To achieve these objectives, support women throughout their pregnancies and when they give birth, and establish a link with the child’s health record book, the maternity record book includes a large amount of information. The SPME has opted for an A4 format (21 x 29.7 cm) and forms to be filled in or on which particular information can be noted.
This new format also gives doctors and midwives more space on each page when they are completing the record book.
The information contained in the book has been enhanced to offer better guidance to expecting mothers and their families and space has been included where they can jot down questions in advance of consultations.
The maternity record book comprises several sections:
- each page of the record book indicates when and how it should be used, and to which organisation it should be addressed (pages 1 to 23);
- a pregnancy support booklet including spaces where the woman and the healthcare professionals treating her can add notes;
- supplementary information sheets that take account of the expecting mother’s household and administrative circumstances:
- calculating the duration of maternity leave and the option for the mother to defer some of her prenatal leave until after her baby is born;
- the daily allowance rate during maternity leave;
- exceptional authorisation for a 28-day absence on half-pay granted to female civil servants to allow them to care for their newborn(s);
- the reimbursement rate for medical expenses incurred during pregnancy;
- delivery in a hospital or clinic and reimbursement of costs;
- a new section devoted to the payment of family dependency allowances by the SPME, specifically prenatal, family and crèche allowances, including details of the website from which the forms to request these benefits can be downloaded.
The maternity record book is issued as soon as the pregnancy is declared, before the end of the third month, by the participating practitioner (doctor or midwife) or one who is a member of the perinatal care network following initial contact.
The aim is really to enable women, couples and practitioners to make use of this record book, which will help to support the relationship between the pregnant woman and her doctor or midwife, to navigate the experiences of women and couples.
In addition to information provided orally, which promotes trust and responds to the expectations of parents, the maternity record book is a complementary resource that includes the information pregnant women and couples need to ensure that pregnancies are monitored in accordance with recommended practice. The book also ensures the normal development of the child.
Personal information in the maternity record book will in future be included in the patient’s medical records.